One of Nintendo's biggest cult classics is Luigi's Mansion. The 2001 game served as a launch title for the GameCube. The game was far different from the Mario titles. Instead of a platformer, the gameplay was all about atmosphere inside a haunted mansion. 12 years later, Nintendo released a sequel on the 3DS called Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. This title utilized a mission-based format. Nintendo once again surprised fans by announcing a third game, simply called Luigi's Mansion 3. Anticipation is high for Luigi's high definition trek into a haunted hotel. One thing Luigi Mansion 3 needs is for it to be genuinely scary, much like how the first game was.
Luigi's Mansion: An Enjoyably Scary Title
Luigi's Mansion began with the title character cautiously entering a mansion. It played out much like a horror movie; players did not know what to expect. The game design would smartly utilize atmosphere and jump scares throughout the campaign. Although it was of course not horrifying, Nintendo genuinely delivered a scary experience for kids, and a good time for adults. The tone and setting was basically the Goosebumps version of Resident Evil, which is perfect scares for all ages.
Dark Moon removed some of the tension found in the first game. It went for a more cartoonish vibe. This is not to say Dark Moon is a bad game, or not effective. But, Luigi's Mansion was able to capture horror for both kids and adults, something that is very hard to come by. Comedy was well placed, never superfluous, but never completely gone. From the Portrait Ghosts, to King Boo's menacing dialogue, Luigi's Mansion perfectly combined horror, comedy, and thrills. In comparison, Dark Moon's tone was lacking.
Horror First, Comedy Second
Those who are picking up Luigi's Mansion 3 are going to typically fall into two camps: those who have nostalgia for the first game, and those who are new to the series. With co-op being a big feature in Luigi's Mansion 3, it's likely there is going to be cooperation between people of both camps. Is there a more engaging way to have fun together than with a scary title with comedy elements thrown in?
In Luigi's Mansion 3, instead of just capturing Mario, King Boo also has Princess Peach and Toad in peril. The story will be less effective if it goes for the more lighthearted antics of Dark Moon. King Boo himself also works best when the overall atmosphere leans toward horror. Unlike Bowser, King Boo has never been portrayed as silly or for comic relief. Rather, he is truly evil, and the most frightening antagonist in the Mario series. By utilizing a genuinely scary tone and King Boo's frightening persona, Nintendo can deliver a memorable experience.
Luigi's Mansion 3 Should Aim To Be Scary
Between Luigi's Mansion and its sequel, many fans agree that the first game is the more enjoyable one. The sense of unease exploring the mansion early on, and not knowing when a ghost will jump scare Luigi is extremely effective. Luigi's Mansion 3 should aim for a similar tone. The third title is already appearing more like the first game; it is abandoning the mission structure of Dark Moon in favor of the exploration seen in the first Luigi's Mansion. If Luigi's Mansion 3 will also retain that spooky, tension-filled atmosphere, the game will instantly become one of Nintendo's most notable titles on Switch.